There are many reasons why so many people are moving to Colorado. For one, it’s a beautiful state with a plethora of amazing things to do and lot of incredible nature to enjoy. From skiing, to hiking, to 300+ days of sunshine, it’s an easy choice to relocate to this amazing state. While many are moving to the Centennial state, there have been a ton of questions about the best places to live. Dependent on your lifestyle and necessities, it’s an important question to ask. In a previous article, we address the best places to retire in Colorado. Now we’re looking to answer: what is the best place to raise a family in Colorado?
Colorado attracts a variety of people from young professionals to retirees. Bar none, it’s definitely a fantastic place to raise a family. In fact, families of different sizes and from different parts of the country are choosing to make Colorado their new home. Before you move there are some things you should know, and some places you should consider for your family.
Where is the Best Place to Raise a Family in Colorado?
This is a very difficult question to answer and to be fair there’s really no right or wrong answer to this. It really depends on the type of work that you do and how you like to spend your free time.
There are a plethora of beautiful small towns across the state of Colorado. If you don’t need the hustle and bustle of a city to feel content and more interested in a quiet, private lifestyle for you and your family, small towns are a big draw for families in Colorado. In terms of small towns there are hundreds to choose from, it really depends on how isolated you want to be and if you life the landscape of mountains or plains.
- Top Choice: Winter Park, Colorado
- Population: 1,100
- Elevation: 9,052ft
Our favorite small town in Colorado for families is Winter Park. It’s is a cozy mountain town with world class skiing and enough outdoor activities to keep you entertained for a lifetime. It also has a very close-knit, community vibe which tends to attract a lot of families who are both from the state of Colorado as well as many transplants from all over the country. Besides the beautiful natural setting of the town itself, what makes Winter Park very appealing to many families is it’s location. It’s less than 1.5 hours to get to the center of Denver, which makes it a reasonable drive to the airport, or for a day out shopping in the city.
Similarly, Winter Park is still and up-and-coming mountain town. While within close proximity to its well-known counterparts like Vail and Breckenridge, Winter Park is still relatively affordable. If mountain living is your family’s style, check out Grand Park homes for sale.
If nature and isolation aren’t necessary your cup of tea, but you also don’t like the often overwhelming noise and bustle of a big city, there are a number of smaller cities across the state of Colorado. Located all around Denver as well as throughout the mountains and plains there are a variety of great small cities for families in Colorado.
- Top Choice: Louisville, Colorado
- Population: 21,100
- Elevation: 5,335ft
One example of a nice small city in Colorado is Louisville. It’s a lovely little city with a population of just under 20,000 people, Louisville is another great place in Colorado to raise a family. It’s regularly ranked as one of the best cities not just in Colorado, but in the entire country to live in general and specifically for families. This is a classic suburban town, with a nice old downtown and stunning views of the mountains. It’s located right between Boulder and Denver which makes it easy to visit either of the bigger cities. It’s also much more affordable then Boulder and many parts of Denver so that helps too! The school district is fantastic and there’s just a really family friendly vibe that is given off by the city of Louisville.
- Top Choice: Castle Rock, Colorado
- Population: 56,000
- Elevation: 6,224ft
Another good example of a nice small city that’s named after a rock atop a mountain that vaguely resembles a castle is another one of our top choices for great places to raise a family in Colorado. With a population of around 55,000 people, Castle Rock is a nice little community to have kids. The city has everything you need, from entertainment to the outlets for great and affordable shopping. It’s also near the foothills of the mountains so there’s great outdoor activities to do not far away. Not only is the location good for nature, but it’s nestled right between Denver and Colorado Springs with only about a 40 minute drive to the heart of each city. This makes for an easy commute and the perfect distance for many families as they are far enough away from the city to avoid the negatives of noise, pollution and traffic, but close enough to enjoy the positives.
Maybe you need the energy of a city around you or maybe you just work there, but there are numerous reasons to live with your family in one of the bigger cities in Colorado. We don’t have the mega cities like New York or Los Angeles, but Denver is a really nice sized capital city, and there are other great family friendly cities too.
- Top Choice: Fort Collins, Colorado
- Population: 165,000
- Elevation: 5,003ft
After Denver, Colorado Springs, and Aurora, the 4th biggest city in the state of Colorado is Fort Collins. It’s a college town with Colorado State University being located there, but it’s a world away from the culture of Boulder in terms of people and the cost of living. Fort Collins has a very relaxed feel to it and it’s no wonder so many families decide to call it their home. ‘FoCo’ has been ranked at the top of many various lists from best places to live in the country in terms of safety, well-being, health, and quality of life. It’s a nice example of a big city that’s great for families.
- Top Choice: Littleton, Colorado
- Population: 41,737
- Elevation: 5,351ft
Many people are currently moving to Denver and for those families who prefer or need to live in the capital, it’s crucial to determine which suburb you want to inhabit. Littleton is a great area of Denver with a lot of character and a nice location. It’s close to the mountains, close to parks, has access to lots of bike and running trails, as well as the South Platte River. It’s got a terrific school district and known for a very healthy and active lifestyle. If living in Denver is important to you and your family, we think Littleton is one of the best areas to be. The Main Street area is quite charming and you always have a really nice view of the Rockies.
We also created a complete list of the most Family Friendly Cities in Colorado for more information.
Why is Colorado a good place to Raise a Family?
For families with school age children, the quality of education in a new place is always one of the first things to be looked at. In a 2015 study done by WalletHub comparing the education quality throughout the country, Colorado ranked #2 in the nation for Overall Rank and #1 in the nation for “School-System Quality” rank.
2) Outdoor Adventures
If you are looking to live in a state where your family can explore, be outside, and take up outdoor adventures, then Colorado is the place to be! Rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, skiing, rafting, fishing, and so many other adventures await. In Colorado, it’s easy to get outside and explore nature in any season!
When you look at a map of the United States, Colorado is centrally located. This central location makes everything just a little bit more convenient, especially for family vacations or if you need to travel frequently for work. Whether you need to visit San Francisco or New York, Denver is a great transportation hub.
4) Property Taxes
In 2015 Colorado ranked 9th in the country for the cheapest real estate tax. The taxes as a percentage of home value came in at a 0.61%. Colorado looks even better when you compare the tax rates to states like New Jersey (2.38%), Illinois (2.32%), and New Hampshire (2.15%).
Colorado has some of the best weather in the country. Not only does Colorado get to enjoy all four seasons, but Colorado also gets to enjoy tons of sunshine! If you are worried about the winter being too cold, or too long, don’t be. Throughout the winter you’ll be able to find 60F – 70F temperatures on the Front Range, and even 40F – 50F days in the high country.
When it comes to cost of living, Colorado might not be as cheap as Nebraska, Arkansas, or South Dakota but when you consider the many amenities available to “Coloradans” the cost of living is more than justifiable. In 2015 Colorado ranked 22nd in the nation for cost of living. While prices are increasing in some hot spots, it’s still reasonable in many really nice areas of the state.
7) Happiness Factor
Colorado consistently ranks as one of the happiest states in the country. What better place to raise a family than the 4th happiest state in the Country?!